Blaen Cwm Penant, near Porthmadog
Group photo following a very successful Deanery Teens residential weekend retreat led by Fr. Bob, 2008.
My youthwork experience:
In each of the 5 parishes in which I have served, I established a youth group; sometimes junior ages, sometimes teens. It was gratifying that only 2 of these groups failed to endure beyond my departure from the parish concerned. I was a bishop-appointed 'Deanery Youth Chaplain' during my time in 2 of these parishes, and a part-time secondary school chaplain at St. Gergory's, Bath (1989-1992) and St. Augustine's, Taunton (2005-2010.) I was full-time chaplain to the University of the West of England, Bristol, over 1999-2005.
Over 1998-9 I volunteered (with bishop's approval!) as an assistant chaplain with "SPEC," the Westminster Diocese's youth retreat centre, then at London Colney, Herts; an impressive organisation that, with about 5 adult staff and 15 gap-year young volunteers, touched the lives of 20,000 young people annually. This would be through parish and other groups attending for a day or residentially, plus going 'on the road' to run school retreats.
During this time I not only learnt a huge amount about working with the young from SPEC's principles, but also attended the Herts. County Council course for youth workers and gained the national qualification as a part-time youth worker.
A retreat for your group?
I now much enjoy providing the input for church youth retreats. These can, for instance, be for parish youth groups or for first communion or confirmation groups. (There are various suitable centres for such retreats in North Wales.)
I work on the basis of a variety of activities, to capture the different interests, personalities and learning-styles of different young people; aiming to keep them fully engaged at all times. (I rarely sit and lecture youngsters!)
Contact me on the button at the top to discuss what we can do; references can be provided on application. Of course, I have a diocesan CRB.
Lunch before a parish junior youth group moved off for a woodland and riverside walk as part of a residential weekend led by Fr. Bob, 2009.
(All outdoor or potentially hazardous activities are, of course, risk-assessed beforehand.)
Eyes down for artwork on the theme of a Fr. Bob parish confirmation retreat, 2012!